Category Archives: Hutchinson C.C.

Former Southeast, Hutch CC star Joe Mitchell lands at Friends



Here’s my story that’s up right now at on former Southeast/Hutch CC star guard Joe Mitchell landing at Friends. This (I think) ends a crazy two years for Mitchell, who signed with Ohio out of Hutch – where former South star Jamaal Walker and Steve Eck protege was an assistant coach – left the Bobcats after spending the summer there and then came to Wichita State, where he sat out last season before quitting the team in October when WSU coach Gregg Marshall didn’t offer him a scholarship.

I never understood why Mitchell left Ohio – he seemed like a great fit there and the Bobcats made the NCAA Tournament last season and are one of the better teams in the MAC. I never saw him fitting in at WSU, either, where there was a glut of guards ahead of him. The scouting report on Mitchell is he’s great off the dribble but if you can keep him from going tot he hoop he’s not able to hurt you from three-point range – but nobody’s seen him in play in two years.

He should be really good in the KCAC. I spoke with Friends coach Dale Faber today and he seemed pretty excited about Mitchell coming to play for him – should be in action Saturday when the Falcons host Southwestern.


Top 10 stories of 2012


1. Brandon Brown

Tabor College defensive lineman Brandon Brown was found beaten, unconscious and unresponsive outside of a house party in McPherson in the early-morning hours of Sept. 16. He died six days later in a Wichita hospital and two former McPherson College football players have been charged with murder in the case. An eyewitness account of that night paints a gruesome picture.


2. Butler football loses in NJCAA title game

Butler Community College’s football team lost in the NJCAA championship game for the second time in three years, falling 27-7 to Iowa Western in the Graphic Edge Bowl in Cedar Falls, Iowa. The Grizzlies didn’t have arguably their top offensive player in West Virginia-bound running back Dreamius Smith (broken collarbone), and starting quarterback Billy Cosh was knocked out on the final play of the first half while trying to make a touchdown-saving tackle … but I’m not sure having both of them for the entire game would’ve mattered. This was the Reivers’ year.

3. McPherson’s historic run to the NAIA D2 Final Four

Sometimes, a good coach does make all the difference. In four years, McPherson College men’s coach Tim Swartzendruber has engineered one of the most amazing runs in KCAC history and made it all the way to the NAIA Division II Final Four this year, where the Bulldogs fell to Northwood (Fla.) and former Villanova coach Rollie Massimino. Swartzendruber’s teams have been to the NAIA Tournament three years in a row, a first in KCAC history.

4. Cowley volleyball comes up short in bid for back-to-back national titles

The Cowley volleyball team entered the NJCAA Division II championship game 38-0 and the defending national champion but lost to Grand Rapids 25-20, 25-23, 26-24. Cowley has two national runner-ups and one title in four years under coach Jennifer Bahner.

5. Blue Dragon women fall in NJCAA championship game

For some reason, this was the year that teams from Kansas kept coming up short – specifically three from the Jayhawk Conference that made it to national championship games before losing. In another incredible twist,  Butler football, Cowley volleyball and Hutchinson women’s basketball were all undefeated before their losses in the title game.  The Blue Dragons, coached by John Ontjes, were 36-0 before losing to top-seeded Trinity Valley in Salina.

6. Jaime Green quits

Newman women’s basketball coach Jaime Green’s incredibly successful – and controversial – two-year stint as the women’s basketball coach of the Jets came to an end when she surprised Newman athletic director Vic Trilli with her resignation in March in order to take a job as an assistant coach at her alma mater, Missouri Southern. The Jets eventually hired former New Mexico State coach Darrin Spence to take over for Green.

7. Butler opens new stadium

In a big, big way – $12 million well spent.  The opening of BG Products Veterans Sports Complex in El Dorado ended a decade-long saga of a town and a school fighting over how to showcase their most bankable product — the Butler Community College football team. With Coffeyville’s Veterans Memorial Stadium and Hutchinson’s Gowans Stadium also housing teams in the Jayhawk, you have a league with facilities that rival most NCAA Division II conferences.

8. Cordarrelle Patterson signs with Tennessee

Former Coffeyville football coach Dick Foster coached the only Heisman Trophy winner ever to come out of the Jayhawk Conference — Nebraska running back Mike Rozier — and even he thought Patterson might be the best player to ever come out of the celebrated junior-college league. The Hutchinson Community College wide receiver/returner is likely headed to the NFL after one season at Tennessee. 

Even in the Jayhawk, where schools pump out D1 and NFL players ever year, Patterson’s recruitment was a wild ride.

9. What’s a taxi squad?

One of the more controversial rule changes to hit Jayhawk football in recent memory came when the league decided to include taxi squads to their rosters this year,  meaning each of the eight schools could keep four extra out-of-state players on the roster to play in non-conference and bowl games … and making the 12 out-of-staters that school’s have had to traditionally pick before the season and stick with even through injuries a flexible thing – coaches could change out those spots week-to-week.

10. Pittsburg State’s collapse

What in the world happened to the Gorillas? The defending NCAA Division II football champions were ranked No. 1 into the middle of October and then…

What will become of the senior year for John Brown and Nate Dreiling, two almost sure-fire PSU Hall of Famers? I can’t wait to find out.

Thanks for reading.


Weekend Wrapup: Newman/Bobby Wesley, Ryan Schraeder, Craig Nicholson, Hutchinson CC men stay perfect


Lots of stuff going on over the weekend – thought this might be a good primer to show you a few of the highlights:

-Newman is 8-0: The Newman men improved to 8-0 over the weekend, setting up a big, big game Saturday in Wichita against No. 2 Washburn. The Jets beat William Jewell on Saturday night 86-84 behind some late-game heroics from senior guard Bobby Wesley, who scored 7 points … with 5 coming in the last two minutes on a three-pointer and a 12-foot jumper with 2.5 seconds left that won the game.

-Ryan Schraeder: The former Butler Community College All-American offensive tackle is back playing for the national championship – this time on the NCAA Division II level with Valdosta State. The Blazers beat Minnesota State-Mankato 35-19 on Saturday in Mankato, and will face Winston-Salem State for the title. More good news for Schraeder – he was named a D2 1st team All-American for the second time and he had a feature written about him in the Wichita Eagle. Schraeder is moving up draft boards as we speak – here’s a link to his Twitter account @RyanSchraeder78 – Pittsburg State wide receiver John Brown and former Washburn cornerback Pierre Desir, now at Lindenwood, were also named to the first team.

-Craig Nicholson turning heads: Northwest product and Fort Hays State freshman point guard Craig Nicholson was named the MIAA player of the week on Monday (not the weekend, I know), but the 5-foot-8 playmaker is already showing that the Tigers scored a coup in signing him.

-And there’s Hutch: The Hutchinson Community College men’s basketball team improved to 14-0 over the weekend and are ranked No. 4 in the country. Brad Hallier of The Hutch News breaks it down for you. 

Talk to you soon -TA

What’s wrong with Hutch?

I’m starting to think they just don’t care. Don’t care about their legacy, don’t care about doing something great, don’t care about this season. It could be something else, of course, but since they’ve dealt with no major injuries … it’s not tough to draw conclusions.

And what else could we pull from the last month?

They start 17-0 and they rise to No. 1 in the country. And then, Jan. 12, they lost 81-80 to Butler, the start of an eight-game stretch that has seen them go 3-5 and drop to 6-4 in the Jayhawk West with no real shot at winning the league title. Monday’s 76-62 loss to Garden City isn’t exactly the low point, either, because the Busters are pretty good and I’m sure the WK came out in full force to get their yearly glimpse of Coach Eck. The low point might still be coming.

I talk to a lot of people about this team and from that, and what I’ve seen with my own eyes, I’m starting to paint a picture of what this year has been. And it’s ugly. It’s undisciplined. It’s what I think the people in Hutch were trying to get away from when they canned Ryan Swanson a couple of years ago.

Saying all that, I don’t know if you can count them out of the Region VI hunt. Too much talent. But time is running out.

And I’m out. -TA


Joe Mitchell is still the best guard in the Jayhawk.

Sunflower Slate: Butler shocks No. 1 Hutchinson

Big news out of El Dorado tonight at the Grizzlies pulled the stunning upset of undefeated, No. 1 Hutchinson 81-80 at the Power Plant. We’ve got Eagle correspondent Taylor Eldridge coming with the game story, but just a few thoughts on this stunner, the first of which is not to be so stunned.

The Blue Dragons weren’t going to go undefeated this year, and Butler has one of the toughest places to play in the entire Jayhawk. Also, Mike Bargen is a really good coach who has fared well against Steve Eck-coached teams in the past.

Next is that Hutchinson still has to be considered the favorite in Region VI, with Coffeyville and Cowley probably a lot closer to them than most people think. I’ll link to Taylor’s story when it comes through.

OH and Butler … from losing to Independence by 50 in the second game of the season to beating the No. 1 team in the country is quite a trek. Like I said, it’s Bargen.

I’m out. TA.

Salt City Bowl preview



Here’s a little breakdown for Saturday’s bowl game in Hutchinson that could very well propel the Blue Dragons into the top 5 in the final NJCAA poll if they can find a way to beat the GILA MONSTERS!!!!


When: 1:07 p.m. today

Who: No. 17 Eastern Arizona at No. 10 Hutchinson

Where: Gowans Stadium, Hutchinson

Records: Eastern Arizona 8-3; Hutchinson 9-2

Radio: KHUT, 103.9-FM

TV: Kansas 22

Breakdown: Both of the Blue Dragons’ losses this season came at the hands of No. 1 Butler — a 28-0 defeat on Oct. 23 when the Blue Dragons were ranked No. 2, and a 48-0 demolition in the Region VI championship game on Nov. 14. That being said, Hutchinson has proven to be nothing but resilient this season — bouncing back from the first defeat with back-to-back wins — and has a chance to accomplish a rare feat in school histor with a win today: Just the third 10-win season in school history. But to join the 1947, 1948 and 1969 squads in the record books, the Blue Dragons will have to find a way to stop Eastern Arizona’s rushing attack as the Gila Monsters lead the country in rushing at 323.6 yards per game, and have three players that have over 500 rushing yards. Hutchinson, fortunately, had seven starters off its defense earn some type of All-Jayhawk recognition, including first-team cornerback Dorrian Roberts, a 5-foot-10, 176-pound Wichita Heights product.
Last season, Hutchinson rallied to beat New Mexico Military 22-14 in the Salt City Bowl’s inaugural edition.

My prediction: Hutchinson 35, Eastern Arizona 21

Breaking down the Region VI title game: No. 5 Hutch at No. 1 Butler



I had a couple of great conversations Friday with Butler coach Troy Morrell and former Garden City coach Bob Larson about past Region VI title games, which was a nice follow-up after getting to talk with Hutchinson coach Rion Rhoades and star wideout Cordarelle Patterson earlier this week. This is Morrell’s 10th Region VI title game as head coach, and he had some great stories. That’s for the advance coming out on Saturday.

This one breaks down pretty simply for Butler: Win and you’re playing for the national title. Likely in the Citizens Bank Bowl at Pittsburg on Dec. 6, where Cam Newton won it all for Blinn last year. Morrell, who lost a national title game in 2004 to Pearl River at Coffeyville, said that playing for a title in Pittsburg would be a “dream come true” – one that Hutchinson can stake a claim to, also.


FOR BUTLER: If the Grizzlies win, they will likely play for the national title on Dec. 6 in the Citizens Bank Bowl at Pittsburg. Morrell has already won three championships (2003, 2007, 2008) and finished as runner-up twice (2001, 2004).

FOR HUTCHINSON: The Blue Dragons probably learned a lot from their 28-0 loss to Butler three weeks ago. It may just have been that they can’t beat Butler. Guaranteed a bowl game, they have an outside shot at playing for the national title if they can pull off the upset.


BUTLER: Running back Ben Axon was the key in wins over then-No. 3 Coffeyville and then-No. 2 Hutch in the regular season by getting 30+ carries, but he was a non-factor in last week’s semifinal win over Coffeyville. If they can establish run early, then Zach Mettenberger can start looking for Marcus Kennard.

HUTCHINSON: Blue Dragons need RB/QB Angelo Pease, QB Elliott Alford and WR Cordarelle Patterson, along with the defense, to have their best game of the year. Simultaneously.

Jeff Lutz will be at the game on Sunday covering this one – say hi if you see him. And be nice to each other. And read The Eagle. And eat your Wheaties.

I’m out.


Cordarelle Patterson is the TRUTH



So I was watching the highlights from the two Region VI semifinal games last night and there was one thing that stood out to me.

That is, Cordarelle Patterson is The Truth.

I spoke to both CP and Hutchinson coach Rion Rhoades on Monday night about the freshman wide receiver’s breakout season – he’s second in the Jayhawk in all-purpose yards with 1,240 to go with his 11 touchdowns. Rhoades said he knew Patterson would be a big-time player after spring practices, but has been amazed at what CP has done this year, calling his production “remarkable.”

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Rico Richardson at Hutch CC?



Former Topeka Highland Park All-Everything guard Rico Richardson turned up on the Hutchinson Community College roster today – I asked Steve Eck what the deal was and he said RR wasn’t practicing with the team yet, as he’s still “trying to figure out what he wants to do” – which could mean about a million different things. My best guess is that they’re still trying to figure out whether Richardson, who spent his senior year playing for a high school in Chicago, can be certified as an in-state player, which would be one of the biggest recruting coups in the last decade or so for the Jayhawk. Richardson is a DI talent who reportedly got offers from Texas A&M and Kansas State.

There are questions, obviously, like the main one being what in the world happened to RR in the last year and why would you leave Topeka, where he said he couldn’t stay out of trouble, and go to Chicago? Some of these recruiting sagas wear me out. Just keep your nose clean, do the work, reap the benefits.

But the thought of RR and Joe Mitchell in the same backcourt? Good lordy.

I’m out. TA.

Butler-Hutch, Jayhawk Conference hoops and Oliver Bradwell



Lots to talk about today. First up, of course, is last night’s No. 1 vs. No. 2 showdown in El Dorado.

Let’s dive in:

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